In Memoriam: February 2019 - February 2020

The BRIT Awards pay tribute to some of the many artists, musicians, industry figures and other creative talents who were sadly lost to us over the past 12 months, but whose legacy in shaping our musical heritage and popular culture will always endure.

 

February 2019

Albert Finney
9 May 1936 -- 7 Feb 2019
Celebrated English actor who worked in film, TV and theatre and starred in the musical "Annie".

Cadet (Blaine Cameron Johnson)

Photo credit: Edward Allen

2 Mar 1990 -- 9 Feb 2019
British rapper, songwriter and record producer best known for his top-20 single "Advice". 

Dominick Argento
27 Oct 1927 -- 20 Feb 2019
US composer and Pulitzer Prize winner known for his operatic and choral compositions.

Fred Foster
26 Jul 1931 -- 20 Feb 2019
US record producer, songwriter and industry executive.

Hilde Zadek
15 Dec 1917 -- 21 Feb 2019
German-born operatic soprano with a strong association with the Vienna State Opera. 

Peter Tork (Peter Halsten Thorkelson)

Photo credit: Andrew Sandoval

13 Feb 1942 -- 21 Feb 2019
US musician and actor with iconic Sixties pop act The Monkees.

Mac Wiseman (Malcolm Bell Wiseman)
23 May 1925 -- 24 Feb 2019
Bluegrass singer and co-founder of the County Music Association.

Tony Pike
22 Feb 1934 -- 24 Feb 2019
Entrepreneur and founder of Pikes Hotel in Ibiza.

Kenneth Pitt
10 Nov 1922 -- 25 Feb 2019
Publicist and talent manager who notably worked David Bowie.

Mark Hollis
4 Jan 1955 -- 25 Feb 2019
English musician and singer-songwriter, co-founder, lead singer and principal songwriter of Talk Talk.

Andy Anderson (Clifford Leon Anderson)
30 Jan 1951 -- 26 Feb 2019
Drummer and percussionist who worked with Steve Hillage, Hawkwind and The Cure among others.

Doug Sandom
26 Feb 1930 -- 27 Feb 2019
Drummer who performed with The Detours before they became The Who.

André Previn 
6 Apr 1929 -- 28 Feb 2019
Celebrated German/American composer, musician and conductor, also known to millions for his appearance on the Morecambe & Wise Christmas TV special.

Stephan Ellis
1949 -- 28 Feb 2019
American guitarist who performed with Survivor among other rock acts.

 

March

Paul Williams (Paul William Yarlett)
1940 -- 1 Mar 2019
Blues and rock musician who performed with John Mayall & the Bluesbreakers among others.

Peter Hurford OBE
22 Nov 1930 -- 3 Mar 2019
Organist and composer.

Keith Flint

Photo credit: Pat Pope

17 Sep 1969 -- 4 Mar 2019
British vocalist and musician with The Prodigy.

Jacques Loussier
26 Oct 1934 -- 5 Mar 2019
French pianist and composer.

Magenta Devine
4 Nov 1957 -- 6 Mar 2019
British broadcaster and cultural commentator.

Hal Blaine (Harold Simon Belsky)
5 Feb 1929 -- 11 Mar 2019
US drummer who worked with artists ranging from Frank Sinatra to Elvis Presley. 

Danny Kustow
10 May 1955 --11 Mar 2019
Guitarist with The Tom Robinson Band.

Dick Dale (Richard Anthony Monsour) 
4 May 1937 -- 16 Mar 2019
US guitarist and pioneer of "Surf Rock". 

Andre Williams
1 Nov 1936 -- 17 Mar 2019
American R'n'B musician.

Bernie Tormé 
18 Mar 1952 -- 17 Mar 2019
Irish rock guitarist, singer, songwriter, record label and recording studio owner. 

Scott Walker (Noel Scott Engel)

Photo credit: Brian Aris

9 Jan 1943 -- 25 Mar 2019
Singer Songwriter, composer and producer -- most notably as part of The Walker Brothers.

Ranking Roger (Roger Charlery)
21 Feb 1963 -- 26 Mar 2019
British singer known for his ska vocals with The Beat and other Eighties acts.

Trevor Engelbrektson
1982 -- 27 Mar 2019
US tour manager of indie duo Her's and other acts. 

Stephen Fitzpatrick
1993 -- 27 Mar 2019
Liverpool singer musician in indie duo Her's. 

Audun Laading
1992 -- 27 Mar 2019
Liverpool musician in indie duo Her's. 

Nipsey Hussle (Ermias Joseph Asghedom)
15 Aug 1985 -- 31 Mar 2019
US rapper and community activist.

 

April

Alan James
9 Apr 1957 -- 7 Apr 2019
Concert promoter who played a key role in the WOMAD and Big Chill festivals.

Paul Raymond

Photo credit: Cherry Red Press

16 Nov 1945 -- 13 Apr 2019
Guitarist and keyboard player with the US rock band UFO.

Les Reed OBE

Photo credit: Cherry Red Press

24 Jul 1935 -- 15 Apr 2019 
Songwriter famed for penning over sixty hits including Tom Jones' "It's Not Unusual" and "Delilah".

John Singleton
6 Jan 1968 -- 29 Apr 2019
Film maker who was Oscar-nominated for his work with "Boyz n the Hood". 

Boon Gould (Rowland Gould)
4 Mar 1955 -- 30 Apr 2019
Musician and one of the founding members of British Eighties band Level 42.

 

May

Freddie Starr (Frederick Leslie Fowell)
9 Jan 1943 -- 9 May 2019
English comedian, singer and actor, who early in his career was lead singer of Merseybeat pop group, The Midniters, and who later found solo top 10 success with the hit "It's You".

Doris Day (Doris Kappelhoff)

Photo credit: Arwin Productions

3 Apr 1922 -- 13 May 2019
Iconic American actress, performer and singer famous for her signature tune 'Que Sera, Sera'.

Jake Black (aka The Very Reverend D Wayne Love)
27 Apr 1960 -- 21 May 2019
British musician and co-founder of the band Alabama 3, famous for the music to the opening credits of The Sopranos.

Mina (daughter of artists Tricky and Martina Topley-Bird)
N/A -- 23 May 2019
Musician and member of Guildford collective, 404.

Roky Erickson
15 Jul 1947 -- 31 May 2019
US frontman of psych-rock pioneers The 13th Floor Elevators.

 

June

John Myers
11 Apr 1959 -- 1 Jun 2019
Broadcaster and radio executive and chair of the UK Radio Academy Awards.

Dr John (Malcolm John Rebennack Jr.) 
20 Nov 1941 -- 6 Jun 2019
Influential American singer and songwriter, whose music ranged from rock and pop to blues and jazz.

Bushwick Bill (Richard Stephen Shaw)
8 Dec 1966 -- 9 Jun 2019
Jamaican-American rapper and record producer.

Andy Gill


1 Jan 1956 -- 9 Jun 2019
British music Journalist and critic -- writer for NME, Uncut and The Independent among others.

Phillipe "Zdar" Cerboneschi
28 Jan 1967 -- 19 Jun 2019
Musician and founder member of the French duo, Cassius, who was a key influence in the electronic music scene, also working with such acts as Hot Chip, Kanye West, Robyn, and Franz Ferdinand.

Elliot Roberts
25 Feb 1943 -- 21 Jun 2019
Artist manager, who managed Neil Young since 1967.

 

July

Martin Charnin
24 Nov 1934 -- 6 Jul 2019
Theatre director and lyricist, whose work included the hit musical Annie.

João Gilberto
10 Jun 1931 -- 6 Jul 2019
Brazilian singer songwriter and guitarist, who pioneered the Bossa Nova genre.

Jonathan Hodge
26 Jan 1941 -- 7 Jul 2019
Musician and composer, including of TV ad syncs such as the 1970s Shake 'n' Vac jingle.

Johnny Clegg
7 Jun 1953 -- 16 Jul 2019
South African musician and anti-Apartheid social campaigner. 

Hal Prince (Harold Smith)
30 Jan 1928 -- 31 Jul 2019
US theatrical producer and director behind some of the best-known Broadway musical productions of the 20th century, garnering a record 21 Tony Awards.

 

August

Barrington Pheloung

Photo credit: S Welborn

10 May 1954 -- 1 Aug 2019
Australian-born composer behind the much-loved Inspector Morse and Lewis TV themes. 

DA Pennebaker
15 Jul 1925 -- 1 Aug 2019
Celebrated pop and politics documentary maker who pioneered 'direct cinema'.

Ian Gibbons
18 Jul 1952 -- 1 Aug 2019
British musician and keyboardist to The Kinks.

Henri Belolo
27 Nov 1936 -- 3 Aug 2019
US music producer who helped to create The Village People.

Joe Longthorne
31 May 1955 -- 3 Aug 2019
Singer and light entertainer famed in the 1970's and 80's for his impressions of other performers.

David Berman
4 Jan 1967 -- 7 Aug 2019
US singer-songwriter, musician and poet best known for his work with 1990s indie group Silver Jews.

Nicky Wonder
22 May 1960 -- 7 Aug 2019
Long-time guitarist for Brian Wilson, and co-founder of power pop band The Wondermints.

Freddy Bannister
3 Dec 1934 -- 11 Aug 2019
Rock promoter behind the first Knebworth festival.

Clifford Bartlett
15 Aug 1939 -- 12 Aug 2019
Music editor and publisher of Early Music.

 

September

LaShawn Daniels
28 Dec 1977 -- 3 Sep 2019
US R'n'B songwriter and producer who worked with artists ranging from Beyoncé to Michael Jackson, awarded a Grammy for co-writing Destiny's Child's No.1 hit, "Say My Name".

Jimmy Johnson
4 Feb 1943 -- 5 Sep 2019
America musician and producer who helped to found the Muscle Shoals Sound Studios.

Tino Valdi (Volodymr Luciw)
5 Jun 1929 -- 7 Sep 2019
Ukrainian-born singer and variety entertainer.

Daniel Johnston
22 Jan 1961 -- c. 11 Sep 2019
US singer-songwriter and visual artist seen as a significant figure in the alternative music scene. 

Eddie Money (Edward Joseph Mahoney)
21 Mar 1949 -- 13 Sep 2019
US singer-songwriter who had success in the Seventies and Eighties with numerous top 10 rock hits in The US, most notably "Baby Hold On". 

Julian Charles Piper
10 Aug 1947 -- 14 Sep 2019
British singer-songwriter, producer and promoter, most known for his work as a blues guitarist.

Ric Ocasek (Richard Theodore Otcasek)
23 Mar 23 1944 -- 15 Sep 2019
US singer-songwriter and record producer best known as the lead vocalist of the band The Cars.

Robert Hunter
23 Jun 1941 -- 23 Sep 2019
Lyricist, musician and poet who wrote some of the most beloved songs by The Grateful Dead.

Jessye Norman

Photo credit: Carol Friedman

15 Sep 1945 -- 30 Sep 2019
American operatic soprano who also helped to pioneer diversity in classical music. 

 

October

Giya Kancheli
10 Aug 1935 -- 2 Oct 2019
Georgian classical composer.

Barrie Masters
4 May 1956 -- 2 Oct 2019
British musician, co-founder and lead singer of the Seventies band Eddie and the Hot Rods. 

Kim Shattuck

Photo credit: Cherry Red Press

17 Jul 1963 -- 2 Oct 2019
US lead singer, guitarist, and songwriter of 90s pop-punk band The Muffs, who also played with The Pixies.

Diahann Carroll (Carol Diann Johnson)
17 Jul 1935 -- 4 Oct 2019
American actress, recording artist and musicals performer.

Ginger Baker (Peter Edward Baker)

Photo credit: Robert Whitaker

19 Aug 1939 -- 6 Oct 2019
Innovative English drummer and influential co-founder of the rock band Cream.

Larry Junstrom
22 Jun 1949 -- 6 Oct 2019
US bassist, founding member of rock band Lynyrd Skynyrd and a musician in .38 Special.

Tommy Udo
1960 -- 10 Oct 2019
Music journalist and rock critic who wrote for NME, Metal Hammer and Classic Rock among others.

Rolando Panerai
17 Oct 1924 -- 22 Oct 2019
Italian operatic baritone known for his stage partnerships with Maria Callas and Giuseppe Di Stefano.

Paul Barrere
3 Jul 1948 -- 26 Oct 2019
US guitarist and singer most regarded for his work with the rock group Little Feat.

David 'Daisy' May
13 Dec 1948 -- 27 Oct 2019
Culture writer who moved into PR with Rob Partridge of Partridge & Storey and Coalition agencies.

 

November

Jay Rosenthal 
1958 -- 2 Nov 2019
US music and entertainment industry attorney.

Robert Freeman
5 Dec 1936 -- 6 Nov 2019
English photographer and graphic designer most celebrated for his work with The Beatles.

Nik Powell
4 Nov 1950 -- 7 Nov 2019
UK businessman, music industry entrepreneur and one of the co-founders of Virgin Records.

Terry O'Neill
30 Jul 1938 -- 16 Nov 2019
Celebrated photographer whose images captured the spirit of the pop culture in the 1960s and 70s.

Rob Oberman
28 Aug 1943 -- 21 Nov 2019
US music man, who worked in A&R and publicity with artists ranging from David Bowie and Bruce Springsteen, before developing a career in the film industry.  

Sir Stephen Cleobury
31 Dec 1948 -- 22 Nov 2019
Organist and choirmaster; former director of King's College Choir.

Martin Hooker


1953 -- 22 Nov 2019
Industry executive who worked with EMI and the rock/metal community, including acts such as Metallica, and went on to found labels Secret Records and Music For Nations.

Goo Hara
13 Jan 1991 -- 24 Nov 2019
South Korean musician and K Pop star.

Sir Jonathan Miller CBE
21 Jul 1934 -- 27 Nov 2019
Titan of British culture, who included opera direction among his many accomplishments.

Terry de Havilland
21 Mar 1938 -- 27 Nov 2019
English shoe designer dubbed the 'Rock n Roll Cobbler of the 1970s', who included Bowie, Led Zeppelin and Marianne Faithfull among his music celebrity clients. 

Irving Burgie
28 Jul 1924 -- 29 Nov 2019
US musician and songwriter, regarded as a great composer of Caribbean music, including the Calypso hit "Day-O" as well as the Barbadian national anthem.

Mariss Jansons
14 Jan 1943 -- 30 Nov 2019
Latvian classical conductor renowned for his interpretation of work by Mahler and Russian composers among others. 

 

December

'Greedy' Smith (Andrew Smith)
16 Jan 1956 -- 2 Dec 2019
Australian musician and songwriter with the Aussie new wave band Mental As Anything, who also worked with other acts and went on to become a TV personality.

Juice WRLD aka J.U.I.C.E. (Jarad Anthony Higgins)
2 Dec 1998 -- 8 Dec 2019
US rapper with an exciting future following the No.2 Billboard success of his single "Lucid Dreams".

Marie Fredriksson

 


30 May 1958 -- 9 Dec 2019
Swedish performer, songwriter and musician most known as the singer of the pop duo Roxette and her lead vocals on such iconic 90s hits as "It Must Have Been Love".

Roy Loney
13 Apr 1946 -- 13 Dec 2019
US rock musician known as the original lead singer of the band Flamin' Groovies, although he performed with other acts and also worked as an industry executive.

Kenny Lynch OBE
18 Mar 1938 -- 18 Dec 2019
English singer, songwriter, entertainer and actor and a pioneer for BAME artists in British pop. 

Allee Willis (Alta Sherral Willis)
10 Nov 1947 -- 24 Dec 2019
Award-winning American songwriter, artist and art director, noted for her work co-writing for Earth, Wind & Fire amongst others, and for the iconic Friends theme song "I'll Be There For You". 

Peter Schreier
29 Jul 1935 -- 25 Dec 2019
German tenor and conductor best known for his performances with the Dresdner Kreuzchor and then the Berlin State Opera. 

Melanie Panayiotou
1964 -- 25 Dec 2019
Artist hairdresser and sister to artist George Michael.

Jerry Herman
10 Jul 1931 -- 26 Dec 2019
Tony-winning American composer and lyricist, celebrated for his many Broadway musical compositions, including "Hello, Dolly!" and "La Cage Aux Folles".

Neil Innes
9 Dec 1944 -- 29 Dec 2019
English writer, comedian and musician known for his collaborations with Monty Python and perhaps most remembered as a founder member/performer in The Beatles parody band, The Rutles.

Vaughan Oliver

Photo credit: Luca Giorietto

12 Sep 1957 -- 29 Dec 2019
British graphic designer best known for his work with record label 4AD designing sleeve artwork for artists such as This Mortal Coil, Cocteau Twins and David Sylvian.

 

January 2020

Neil Peart
12 Sep 1952 -- 7 Jan 2020
Canadian drummer, lyricist and writer, and founder member of rock group Rush.

Lyndon Stephens

Photo credit: Stuart Bailie

1967 -- 10 Jan 2020
Northern Ireland artist manager and record label executive, who founded Belfast-based Quiet Arch.

Barry Tuckwell
5 Mar 1931 -- 16 Jan 2020
Australian born, but UK based horn player, who made his name with the LSO and worked with greats such as Benjamin Britten in becoming an acclaimed soloist. 

Jimmy Heath aka Little Bird
25 Oct 1926 -- 19 Jan 2020
US jazz musician -- saxophonist, composer and band leader who came from a musical family.

 

February 2020

Peter Serkin
24 Jul 1947 -- 1 Feb 2020
Award-winning American classical pianist and an exponent of contemporary music.

Andy Gill
1 Jan 1956 -- 1 Feb 2020
Manchester-born musician and recorded producer, most known as a founding member and lead guitarist of the influential British post-punk band Gang of Four.

Volker David Kirchner
25 Jun 1942 -- 4 Feb 2020
German violist and composer also known for his Opera and symphony compositions. 

Buddy Cage
18 Feb 1946 -- 5 Feb 2020
American musician and pedal steel guitarist -- admired both as a member of the New Riders of the Purple Sage and for his session work with artists such as Bob Dylan and Anne Murry.

Romuald Lipko
3 April 1950 -- 6 Feb 2020
Polish composer and rock musician.

Robert Conrad (AKA Bob Conrad)
1 Mar 1935 -- 8 Feb 2020
American entertainer most known for his film acting career, but also released two albums as a recording artist.

Abdel Aziz El Mubarak 
1951 -- 9 Feb 2020
Sudanese singer known for traditional Arab music.

Margareta Hallin (Gunhild Margareta Hallin Ekerot)
20 Feb 1931 -- 9 Feb 2020
Celebrated Swedish opera soprano, composer and actress.

Mirella Freni
27 Feb -- 9 Feb 2020
Legendary Italian soprano popular at opera houses around the world, and known for her close collaborations with Luciano Pavarotti.

Lyle Mays
27 Nov 1953 -- 10 Feb 2020
American jazz pianist, composer and arranger most known as a member of the Pat Metheny Group, garnering 11 Grammy Awards during his career.

Joseph Shabalala (Bhekizizwe Joseph Siphatimandla Mxoveni Mshengu Bigboy Shabalala)
28 Aug 1941 -- 11 Feb 2020
South African musician who founded and was musical director of Ladysmith Black Mambazo.

Victor Olaiya
31 Dec 1930 -- 12 Feb 2020
Nigerian trumpeter, celebrated for his mastery of the West African 'Highlife' style.

Paul English
6 Nov 1932 -- 12 Feb 2020
American drummer and long-time collaborator with Willie Nelson, among other musicians.

Caroline Flack

Caroline Flack on the Red Carpet at The BRIT<span class='lowercase'>s</span> 2019

9 Nov 1979 -- 15 Feb 2020
Versatile British Broadcaster, TV and radio presenter, actress and entertainment personality who, among her many credits, hosted The BRITs Red Carpet Show and co-hosted The BRITs Encore Show for ITV in 2010.